Johnson`s Great Society


Johnson`s Great Society
Johnson’s Great Society
Unit 9: Notes #3
Mrs. Willis
Kennedy Assassination
President Kennedy was
making a campaign trip
to Dallas on November
22, 1963
He was preparing for
his 1964 re-election
A sniper from the 6th
floor of a schoolbook
depository shot at
Johnson Becomes President
After the assassination of
John F. Kennedy, Lyndon
B. Johnson became
 Johnson purposely tried
to continue Kennedy’s
 He kept all of Kennedy’s
cabinet members and
Johnson promised to carry
on the New Frontier
Lyndon Johnson grew up
in Texas and entered
politics in 1937 as a US
He referred to himself as a
“New Dealer” and spoke
for the small ranchers and
struggling farmers
In 1948 he became a
Senator and rose to the
position of Senate Majority
Leader in 1955
Johnson’s Programs
As part of his 1964 re-election campaign,
Kennedy had planned anti-poverty proposals
Johnson continued this by announcing his War
on Poverty during his first State of the Union
Johnson asked Congress to pass the Economic
Opportunity Act (EOA) in August 1964
This provided $1 billion for youth programs,
antipoverty measures, small-business loans, and
job training
The Great Society
Johnson used the phrase Great Society to
describe the domestic programs of his
Johnson used this as his platform in the 1964
presidential election, which he won
Many of the Great Society programs were
intended to promote a better life for
Americans regardless of their economic status
Johnson also signed laws to improve the quality of
air and water
Education & Healthcare
In 1965, Congress passed the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act
Aid public schools
The Higher Education Act created the first federal
scholarships for needy college students
In 1965 Head Start was launched to provide preschool to children of low income parents
In July 1965 Congress authorized funds for states to
set up Medicaid and Medicare
Medicaid would provide free health care for poor
Medicare would be a health care system for people over
the age of 65
Decline of the Great Society
The peak years of the Great Society were 19651966
Congress passed 181 of the 200 major bills
President Johnson proposed
Midterm congressional elections allowed
Republicans to gain more seats in the House
and Senate
This began to slow down Johnson’s legislative
Impact of the Great Society
Lyndon Johnson extended the power of the
federal government
The optimism of Johnson’s presidency fueled
activism in all three branches of gov’t
The “War on Poverty” did help, the number
of poor people dropped from 21% in 1962 to
11% in 1973
Funding the programs of the Great Society
contributed to a growing budget deficit
This problem has continued